As I reflect on the past year I have this overwhelming sense of gratitude – for the opportunity to do work I love, and to partner with such great clients and colleagues. Our team has worked all over the United States in communities large and small. One thing we’ve seen in every area of the country is the negative impact of unemployment and joblessness.
So, this year as a way to express gratitude to our clients I have chosen something other than the classic corporate holiday or year-end gift. Who really needs another motivational book or basket of cookies? I have, instead, made a contribution in our client’s honor to the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN).
The OFN is a national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) investing in opportunities that benefit low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities across America. OFN Members are performance-oriented, responsible investors that finance community businesses, sparking job growth in the areas that need it most, and delivering both sound financial returns and real changes for people and communities. They have invested more than $23 bil in disadvantaged communities, and this barely addresses the need.
Their Create Jobs for USA Fund mobilizes donations from individuals, the Starbucks Foundation, and other institutions to provide capital grants to nonprofit CDFIs that lend to Community Businesses. You can learn more here.
I hope you’ll consider joining us in support of this effort. As you reflect on what needs exist in your own community or that of your clients, it is not too late to make a commitment before December 24th to help create and sustain jobs. Your commitment can take many forms including a year-end donation or volunteering your time or expertise. So much is needed out there right now, and I hope you will join Market Insights (and me) in attempting to share the good you (we) have received this year.